MC416      Half Unit
Representation in the Age of Globalisation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Shani Orgad


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications and MSc in Media and Communications (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted. Whist we do our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee you a place on this course.

Course content

Images and stories circulated in the media play a central role in informing how we imagine the world, others and ourselves. We become increasingly dependent, often exclusively, on what we see, read and hear in the news, on social media, our favourite television drama series, in advertisements, and films, or on the radio. This course focuses on the way media representations are implicated in the exercise of power over how we think and feel through the construction of meaning. It explores the opportunities that media representations present for the creation of a global and interconnected space, which enables the people living in it to conduct their social, cultural, political and economic lives in positive, just and inclusive ways. At the same time, the course discusses some of the critical challenges, limits and threats those visual and textual representations present. The discussion focuses on the representation of the Other and the production of difference, the representation of gender, suffering and migration - timely issues which are ever more urgent in contemporary public life. It examines how transformations in the contemporary media landscape, such as the expansion of social media platforms, the increasing commodification and global scope of communication, shape the ways in which public issues are framed, imaged, and constructed, the consequences this may have for the moral judgements people make and the possibilities for disrupting dominant narratives and imaginaries.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and a workshop totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, prepare seminar presentations, and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

  • Amin, A. (2012). Land of Strangers, Polity.
  • Bauman, Z. (2016). Strangers at Our Door, Polity.
  • Hall, S. (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practice, Sage; Macdonald, M. (2003) Exploring Media Discourse, Arnold.
  • hooks, bell. (2014). Black Looks: Race and Representations. London: Routledge. 
  • Orgad, S. (2012) Media Representation and the Global Imagination, Cambridge: Polity.
  • Pickering, M. (2001). Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation, Palgrave.
  • Said, E. (1985) Orientalism, Penguin.
  • Silverstone, R. (2007) Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis, Polity.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Students will produce a short film as a team during the course, on the basis of which they submit a 3,000 word individual essay. 

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.4
Merit 46.4
Pass 33.6
Fail 1.6

Teachers' comment

The images and stories circulating in today's global media matter. This course will explain why, and how representations shape the ways we think about others, the world and ourselves.

Students' comments

"This course has really helped me to view media representations critically. It presents the theories in a way that we can apply them in practical ways to our lives outside and inside of class."

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2020/21: 70

Average class size 2020/21: 14

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills